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Welcome to the 'New Zealand Mollusca' website.

This website has evolved from my passion for New Zealand Shells - collecting, studying, and photographing them.

The website focuses primarily on the Molluscan species found within the New Zealand Economic Zone. I have also included taxa/data from Macquarie Island (Australia), and other Sub-Antarctic Islands, along with areas north of NZ, eg. Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, when taxa and distributions overlap with NZ.

Checklist/Taxonomy. Here I have endeavoured to provide an up-to-date checklist of all New Zealand species, with images of the more common or well-known species. I use WoRMS as a reference for the current accepted taxonomy for species, and am adding direct links to WoRMS taxa pages for each species.

I am using older taxonomy for the larger Land Snails (Powelliphanta/Placostylus etc). Recent DNA has indicated that many of the sub-species are not valid and have been synonomysed in some checklists. I have chosen to keep the "sub-species" separated here, to indicate the various known populations, forms or colonies. The relationship between the various "sub-species", colonies and forms is continually under revision, so will be updated as more is known about these groups.

Identify by shape and form. A new tool has been added to help identify some of the more commonly encountered species of marine, land and freshwater species around New Zealand.
Use the guide to narrow down your search by matching similar visual characteristics with the images.

Updates. I am constantly adding more information about each species, including sizes, habitats, and common names of some species. Genus synonyms are also being added so that older scientific names can be searched for.

Maps. I have included Google Maps to show some of the locations where species have been recorded. Some of these locations are only approximate, and do not necessarily represent the complete range, as new observations are continually being recorded.

References to other publications have been added to the checklist. I have also added references to some of the New Zealand Molluscan Publications, eg. "Poirieria" and "Cookia". These are listed with the Species Details, when species are mentioned in the publication.
Go to list of references and publications.

Addition of Non-Molluscan species. Brachiopods, Echinoderms (Starfish and Sea Urchins) and Barnacles are being added to the checklist. This is to help people identify species that may be mistaken for Mollusca, but are not. Photos and information will be added and updated regularly.

Identification. I am always willing to help with identification of any species. Email me with a clear photo and I will try to help.

If you have any suggestions, enquiries or questions, please email me. Any comments would be appreciated.


Andrew Spurgeon


Name Changes
The following species have recently had name changes.